AT: The Spook Sonata A: August Strindberg Pf: 1908, Stockholm Pb: 1907 Tr: 1916 G: Drama in 3 scenes; Swedish prose S: Fashionable house and the street outside, 1900s C: 7m, 8f, extrasThe Student (Arkenholz), weary after spending much of the night rescuing people from a collapsed house, meets a sinister Old Man (Jacob Hummel). The Old Man asks the Student to attend a concert, so that he may meet the Colonel and his daughter (the Young Lady). The Colonel lives in the house with his wife, a Mummy; the Dark Lady (or Lady in Black), daughter of the Caretaker's Wife by the Dead Man (the late Consul who lived upstairs); and the Fiancée, formerly engaged to Hummel. When he sees the Colonel's Daughter, the Student falls in love with her and agrees to woo her on Hummel's behalf. Some evenings later Hummel arrives in the Colonel's apartment. The Mummy emerges from the cupboard where she has sat for 20 years. Hummel, who was once her lover and is in reality the Young Lady's father, intends to make the Student his heir and marry him to the Young Lady. The young couple talk in the hyacinth room, while at a ‘ghost supper’ Hummel is exposed as a murderer and fraudster and hangs himself in the Mummy's cupboard. A few days later in the hyacinth room the Cook tells the young couple that she is draining the strength from the family. The Young Lady rejects the Student's offer of marriage, fearing the drudgery that it will bring, and he now realizes that the house is rotten and that she is infected with its poison. The Young Lady collapses dying, and the Student sings the ‘Song of the Sun’ from the Elder Edda: ‘Man reaps as he sows.’
AT: The Spook Sonata A: August Strindberg Pf: 1908, Stockholm Pb: 1907 Tr: 1916 G: Drama in 3 scenes; Swedish prose S: Fashionable house and the street outside, 1900s C: 7m, 8f, extras
The best of his ‘Chamber Plays’, The Ghost Sonata, despite its complex symbolism, exerts a powerful fascination in the theatre. While concentrating the action on to the tiny stage of the Intimate Theatre in Stockholm, a whole world of strange universalized figures and evocative images are offered. The musical structure and limbo-like existence recur in the plays of Samuel Beckett.